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National Curriculum

Attainment targets for English

 

Attainment target 1: Speaking and listening

Level 4

Pupils talk and listen with confidence in an increasing range of contexts. Their talk is adapted to the purpose: developing ideas thoughtfully, describing events and conveying their opinions clearly. They listen carefully in discussions, making contributions and asking questions that are responsive to others’ ideas and views. They adapt their spoken language appropriately and use some of the features of standard English vocabulary and grammar.

Level 5

Pupils talk and listen confidently in a wide range of contexts, including some that are formal. Their talk engages the interest of the listener as they begin to vary their expression and vocabulary. In discussions, they pay close attention to what others say, ask questions to develop ideas and make contributions that take account of others’ views. They adapt their spoken language to suit the situation and begin to use standard English in formal situations.

Level 6

Pupils adapt their talk to the demands of different contexts, purposes and audiences with increasing confidence. Their talk engages the interest of the listener through the variety and liveliness of both vocabulary and expression. Pupils take an active part in discussions, taking different roles and showing understanding of ideas and sensitivity to others. They demonstrate their knowledge of language variety and usage effectively and use standard English fluently in formal situations.

Level 7

Pupils are confident in matching their talk to the demands of different contexts, including those that are unfamiliar. They use vocabulary in precise and creative ways and organise their talk to communicate clearly. They make significant contributions to discussions, evaluating others’ ideas and varying how and when they participate. They use standard English confidently in situations that require it.

Level 8

Pupils maintain and develop their talk purposefully in a range of contexts. They structure what they say clearly, using apt vocabulary and appropriate intonation and emphasis. They make a range of contributions that show they have listened perceptively and are sensitive to the development of discussions. They use standard English confidently in a range of situations, adapting as necessary.

Exceptional performance

Pupils select and use structures, styles and registers appropriately, adapting flexibly to a range of contexts and varying their vocabulary and expression confidently for a range of purposes and audiences. They initiate and sustain discussion through the sensitive use of a variety of contributions. They take a leading role in discussion and listen with concentration and understanding to varied and complex speech. They show assured and fluent use of standard English in a range of situations and for a variety of purposes.

Attainment target 2: Reading

Level 4

In responding to a range of texts, pupils show understanding of significant ideas, themes, events and characters, beginning to use inference and deduction. They understand that texts reflect the time and culture in which they were written. They refer to the text when explaining their views and are able to locate and use ideas and information.

Level 5

Pupils show understanding of a range of texts, selecting essential points and using inference and deduction where appropriate. In their responses, they identify key features, themes and characters and select sentences, phrases and relevant information to support their views. They understand that texts fit into historical and literary traditions. They retrieve and collate information from a range of sources.

Level 6

In reading and discussing a range of texts, pupils identify different layers of meaning and comment on their significance and effect. They give personal responses to literary texts, referring to aspects of language, structure and themes in justifying their views, and making connections between texts from different times and cultures and their own experiences. They summarise a range of information from different sources.

Level 7

Pupils show understanding of the ways in which meaning and information are conveyed in a range of texts. They articulate personal and critical responses to poems, plays and novels, showing awareness of their thematic, structural and linguistic features. They understand why some texts are particularly valued and influential. They select, synthesise and compare information from a variety of sources.

Level 8

Pupils’ responses show their appreciation of, and ability to comment on, a range of texts, and they evaluate how authors achieve their effects through the use of linguistic, structural and presentational devices. They select and analyse information and ideas, and comment on how these are conveyed in different texts. They explore some of the ways in which texts from different times and cultures have influenced literature and society.

Exceptional performance

Pupils confidently sustain their responses to a demanding range of texts across different times and cultures, developing their ideas and referring in detail to aspects of language, structure and presentation. They make apt and careful comparisons between texts, including consideration of audience, purpose and form. They identify and analyse argument, opinion and alternative interpretations, making cross-references where appropriate.

Attainment target 3: Writing

Level 4

Pupils’ writing in a range of forms is lively and thoughtful. Ideas are often sustained and developed in interesting ways, with organisation generally appropriate for purpose. Vocabulary choices are often adventurous and words are used for effect. Pupils are beginning to use grammatically complex sentences, extending meaning. Spelling, including that of polysyllabic words that conform to regular patterns, is generally accurate. Full stops, capital letters and question marks are used correctly, and pupils are beginning to use punctuation within sentences. Handwriting style is fluent, joined and legible.

Level 5

Pupils’ writing is varied and interesting, conveying meaning clearly in a range of forms for different readers, using a more formal style where appropriate. Vocabulary choices are imaginative and words are used precisely. Sentences, including complex ones, and paragraphs are coherent, clear and well developed. Words with complex regular patterns are usually spelt correctly. A range of punctuation, including commas, apostrophes and inverted commas, is usually used accurately. Handwriting is joined, clear and fluent and, where appropriate, is adapted to a range of tasks.

Level 6

Pupils’ writing is fluent and often engages and sustains the reader’s interest, showing some adaptation of style and register to different forms, including using an impersonal style where appropriate. Pupils experiment with a range of sentence structures and varied vocabulary to create effects. Spelling, including that of irregular words, is generally accurate. Handwriting is neat and legible. A range of punctuation is usually used correctly to clarify meaning, and ideas are organised into well-developed, linked paragraphs.

Level 7

Pupils’ writing is confident and shows appropriate and imaginative choices of style in a range of forms. Characters and settings are developed in their narrative writing. Their non-fiction writing is coherent and gives clear points of view, taking account of different perspectives. Grammatical features and vocabulary are used accurately and effectively. Spelling is correct, including that of complex irregular words. Work is legible and attractively presented. Paragraphing and correct punctuation are used to make the sequence of events or ideas coherent and clear to the reader.

Level 8

Pupils show creativity in the way they select specific features or expressions to convey effects and to interest the reader. Their narrative writing shows control of characters, events and settings, and shows variety in structure. In non-fiction, they express complex ideas clearly and present them coherently, anticipating and addressing a range of different viewpoints. Their use of vocabulary and grammar enables fine distinctions to be made or emphasis achieved. Their writing shows a clear grasp of the use of punctuation and paragraphing.

Exceptional performance

Pupils’ writing is original, has shape and impact, shows control of a range of styles and maintains the interest of the reader throughout. Narratives use structure as well as vocabulary for a range of imaginative effects, and non-fiction is coherent, reasoned and persuasive, conveying complex perspectives. A variety of grammatical constructions and punctuation is used accurately, appropriately and with sensitivity. Paragraphs are well constructed and linked in order to clarify the organisation of the writing as a whole.

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